Impact fees go to affordable housing

West Palm Beach, FL – Throughout the fall of 2008, PEACE worked closely with the County’s advisory board on affordable housing issues to come up with viable funding recommendations for a locally funded Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Affordable Housing Trust Funds, once capitalized, are designed to provide communities with funds to build, preserve, and rehabilitate housing that are affordable for extremely and very low income households. The Commission on Affordable Housing recommended utilizing the buyout money from the County’s Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance and the interest earned on impact fees to fund the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. As a strong statement of support, 175 PEACE leaders attended the January 2009 meeting of the Board of County Commissioners where the Commission on Affordable Housing presented these recommendations. In April 2009, 950 people attended PEACE’s Nehemiah Action where Commissioners Koons, Santamaria, and Vana committed to support a resolution that will dedicate these two funding sources to the County’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund. By October 2010, $1.037 million had been allocated to the Affordable Housing Trust Fund. Starting in October 2014, 50% of the interest earned on impact fees will be used to pay for the impact fees of approximately 400 units of affordable housing each year, an ongoing revenue source estimated at $1.9 million.

Affordable renting expanded in Broward

Broward County, FL – With a turnout of 1,600 people at their April 2008 Nehemiah Action, BOLD Justice obtained a commitment from the Broward County Administrator, Bertha Henry, to convene the City Managers to draft a plan creating a net increase in the number of affordable rental units in Broward Countyover the next three years. Furthermore, city officials from Ft. Lauderdale and Hollywood agreed to participate in this process. As a result of the 2008 action, $2.5 million was allocated toward constructing new affordable rental units and 358 new affordable rental housing units were built. In 2009, BOLD Justice continued to push on this issue. Funding for an additional 719 affordable units has been approved by the county for construction over the next year. Finally, in 2010 BOLD Justice held a third Action on affordable rental housing, pushing the County Administrator one more time to make a serious commitment to the creation of new affordable housing units around Broward County.  These three actions all combined to create 2,322 affordable housing units for the county.  All of the units are built and occupied by Broward’s working poor.

BREAD gets funding for affordable housing units in Franklin County

Columbus, OH – BREAD’s Jubilee Housing Campaign succeeded in getting Columbus and Franklin County to create the Columbus-Franklin County Affordable Housing Trust Fund. In 2007, the Fund helped create over 500 units of affordable housing for people making less than $39,000 a year. After continued pressure from BREAD, in 2006, Franklin County tripled the amount of money (now $3 million annually) that it is invested in the Affordable Housing Trust Fund with a guarantee that $1 million of that new funding would benefit projects built for families at or below 30% of the area median income. In addition, BREAD has worked aggressively to monitor the work of the Fund and has negotiated for more stringent reporting and targeting requirements. Since the creation of the Trust Fund, over 3,000 units of affordable housing has been financed and developed.

Rent assistance expedited

Tampa, FL – In 2007, HOPE persuaded Hillsborough County and the Office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court to help reduce homelessness by expediting rent assistance checks to 250 landlords so they receive rent assistance checks within eleven days instead of several months, preventing evictions and getting people off the streets.

FAST gets 1,469 affordable homes built, more to come

Pinellas County, FL – In 2006, FAST secured commitments from all seven County Commissioners to support the creation of an Affordable Housing Trust Fund to construct housing for families making less than $47,000 annually. At FAST’s 2007 Nehemiah Action, each municipality involved made clear commitments to create a total of 3,091 new units of affordable housing. As of October 2010, $19.2 million has been placed into the Trust Fund and 1,469 units have been built. 280 of these units are for families making less than $18,000 annually.